Oh dear, what a huge subject… where to start…
I’d like to offer you a couple of suggestions Candy. I don’t
know if you’re talking about bezel setting cabachons or faceted
stones, so I’ll try to be general.
I personally use an old #52 graver that has been highly polished
and all the corners rounded and polished! Ideally, for
burnishing, you don’t want to do any cutting. What you’re
trying to do is create a smooth and even edge on the bezel. Part
of the trick here is to not try to push too much metal over the
stone. Your bezel should be quite smooth on the inside and top,
and you’ll find the bezel much easier to tap over if you bur a
small groove (using a .5mm round bur) at and slightly extending
above the girdle of the stone. this way you won’t be stressing
the stone when you tap the bezel over. I do suggest using a
hammer and punch to secure the bezel against the stone. If the
bezel material is so thin that you can just push it over the
stone, you’ll not have any need to trim it usually (if it is
quite smooth and even). If you do need to trim it, you can use a
sharp knife graver. It’s a real trick to cut the bezel without
scratching the stone, I use a microscope (these old eyes used to
see quite a bit better). One idea that comes to mind is you can
trim the bezel just before it presses against the stone, then
burnish it to tightness with a highly polished and pointed "awl"
type tool mounted in a graver handle (every diamond setter has
one and relies on it constantly).
The intricasies of bezel setting take long practice to iron out,
and loads of tips and tricks from every setter you’ll meet (and
I’m sure you’ll get a lot of help from the good folks here). This
is how we all learn setting, by helping each other, and setting
many, many stones.
Jeffrey Everett, jewelry craftsman
Handmade 18K, 22K, and platinum gemstone jewelry.
Diamond setting, rubber/metal molds, casting, lapidary
Die and mold engraving, plastic patterns for casting.
Jewelry design, cad/cam, milling, scroll, filigree, & more.
P O Box 2057 Fairfield IA 52556 515-469-6250